Commission Music

Commission Music
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Thursday, 2 November 2006

Applying myself

It's that time of year again, when a young person's heart turns towards PhD applications. I'm alo thinking about starting an M.A. collection and getting one from here. The program director was encouraging. I will talk to him about it on Monday. I'm also thinking about applying to some PhDs, but I dunno where I want to go. I'm leaning towards continental Europe, but most countries here are civilized enough to have not joined the composers-must-have a PhD craze.

What I need to know to teach is the stuff I can get here. What I need for a piece of paper in order to have any chance of surviving in academia is also possibly available through here (sort of). I speak of the Doc Artes program. The downsides are that it is rumored to be poorly organized and I must learn Dutch (which I'm going to start doing anyway . . . any day now). Upsides are that I could study with people here and learn what I need to learn and get the piece of paper I need if I want to return to the US ever. But they only take 5 people from all disciplines and they already have a few composers, so maybe it's impossible. Therefore, plan B, C, D, etc are required.

There's Birmingham and some other schools in the UK. Birmingham, especially is supposed to be becoming the center of the SuperCollider universe, which would be nice. I'm not so sure about the English speaking world, though, alas.

I can probably apply to Berkeley again. I heard two rumors recently: one was that they actually did admit a CNMAT-type person who also knew things like how to do 12 tone row blahdyblah (ack, kill me) and would never admit anyone with my reduced more specialized skill set. The other is that they don't think you're serious unless you apply to multiple schools.

DocArtes seems like the best bet, but the chances of me getting in are very small.

Anybody got any thoughts about where to apply? SuperCollider focus is good. Technical Sonology-type engineering focus is good. funded is good. In Europe is good. Some combination of all of these things plus a job and social circle for my gf would be perfect. I'm going to start the University of Les and it will have a campus in either Paris, Amsterdam and/or Prague. Courses will be in French and English. PhDs will be issued based on how well you can improvise. Course work will feature classes on how to get gigs in various locations and how to get grant money.

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Polly Moller said...

oooooh, sign me up!

Anonymous said...

Do you want a degree in composition or in a technical area. If the former, choose the composer you wish to work with, if the latter, go to the place with the most smart people.

You might think about UC Santa Barbara now that Clarence Barlow is there (De Haag's loss). For tech stuff, try Stanford, UCSD, MIT. For composition in Europe look at Brunel in London.